Sell­ing meat on­line to city slick­ers

South Bur­nett farmer sells to cus­tomers across the state through E-com­merce

South Burnett Times - - RURAL WEEKLY - Michael Nolan michael.nolan @south­bur­nett­

E-COM­MERCE is bring­ing South Bur­nett’s pork, lamb and beef di­rect to cus­tomers in south-east Queens­land.

Kin­garoy gra­zier Col Draper runs Grass to Grill, a web­site that sells cer­ti­fied or­ganic meat.

“In a nut­shell, we raise and fat­ten our own cat­tle and pigs and have them slaugh­tered and sell the meat di­rect,” Mr Draper said.

“We also sell lo­cal lamb but we buy the an­i­mals off an­other farmer.”

Most of Mr Draper’s busi­ness comes through so­cial me­dia mar­ket­ing.

“About 90% of what we do is on Face­book, we do have a web­site but it’s more for show,” Mr Draper said.

“Face­book is by far the driver of busi­ness.”

Run­ning a busi­ness through Face­book gives Mr Draper ac­cess to in­stant feed­back from cus­tomers, eas­ily tracked re­fer­rals and a de­tailed break­down of cus­tomer de­mo­graph­ics.

Grass to Grill has been in busi­ness for about four years though Mr Draper said it took a while for things to take off.

He had to jump through the nec­es­sary hoops to get ac­cred­i­ta­tion for the de­liv­ery.

“Once you get the ac­cred­i­ta­tion, it’s just up to your own busi­ness nous,” Mr Draper said.

Grass to Grill op­er­ates on a loose 6–8 week cy­cle.

When the cat­tle, lambs and pigs are ready for slaugh­ter Mr Draper and his wife put out a call over Face­book for or­ders.

Cus­tomers have range of meat packs from which to se­lect but, more or less, they have to buy any­thing from a quar­ter of beast up to a whole car­case worth of cuts.

Mr Draper then carts his an­i­mals to slaugh­ter.

“We get it done at Brisbane Val­ley Meats at Esk. They’re only a small op­er­a­tor so they are able to cus­tomise their ser­vice to suit our needs,” he said.

When the meat is pre­pared and vac­uum sealed, Mr Draper picks it up in a re­frig­er­ated truck and de­liv­ers it.

“We went that way be­cause it’s easy to get ac­cred­i­ta­tion for trans­port and it’s also a bit of vogue thing for peo­ple to be able to age meat in a cry­ovac,” he said.

“One of our cus­tomers won’t eat a steak un­less it has aged five weeks.”

The busi­ness cur­rently ships about 2.5 tonnes of meat ev­ery six to eight weeks.

“We usu­ally sell about four for five cat­tle, four to six pigs and up to about 10 or a dozen sheep,” Mr Draper said.

The pigs are Wes­sex sad­dle­backs raised on Mr Draper’s home block, just south of Kin­garoy.

His cat­tle are drought­mas­ter cows spread across a few leased pad­docks.

“I play around with dif­fer­ent bulls, at the mo­ment they’re with a sim­men­tal,” Mr Draper said.

He has about 50 head in­clud­ing back­grounders.

“When we run out of meat, I’ve got a cou­ple of mates that will sell to me and it’s good for some of the smaller blokes that only have a cou­ple of head to get rid of,” he said.

From a mar­ket­ing point of view Mr Draper puts equal weight on the fact that his herd is en­tirely grass-fed.

“I think it has a bet­ter taste and the cat­tle are usu­ally there a bit older, up to 18 months to two years,” he said.

“It’s much more about trace­abil­ity than diet.”

With the paddock-to-plate trend grow­ing steadily, Mr Draper said he was get­ting more and more in­ter­est from fur­ther afield.

He is tak­ing in­quiries from as far away as Dar­win.

Un­for­tu­nately, ship­ping and staff con­straints mean it is just not eco­nom­i­cal to ship fresh meat that far.

MAIL OR­DER: Col Draper has pigs, lambs and cat­tle butchered, then he sells the meat di­rect to cus­tomers via his web­site Grass to Grill.

Kin­garoy gra­zier Col Draper sells grass-fed beef, lamb and pork on­line us­ing his busi­ness Grass to Grill.

Grass to Grill sells meat on­line to cus­tomers.

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